Advice on back to back crit racing

On Tuesday I am planning on doing 2 back to back crit races. Because of the way they changed the event because of local restrictions they are doing the same race twice to limit exposure, but if you want it will let you do both, I would like to. They should have about 15-25 minutes between them, they are usually 45min to an hour, I am probably on the stronger end of the field with a ftp around 4.5w/kg (taken 5 weeks ago likely higher with all the threshold work my coach has had me doing) as a cat 4, if I had the points or races to upgrade I would be in the 1/2/3 Field. Looking for good advice for how to race it optimally. I’ll also talk to my coach on Monday or Tuesday morning about it. I’ve just never tried back to back races before. I don’t know if I should smash in the first race, then just survive the second, or save energy in the first and empty the tank in the second. Any advice may be helpful. Planning on bringing a gu flask with ~5 servings in it with me.

From a fueling and nutrition standpoint treat it like a two hour race - meaning you should drink and eat during the first race pretty heavily. With only 15 minutes downtime you won’t have time for recovery - so stay ahead of the fueling

Personally the way I handle these is to race the first race as if it is the only race. My logic here is that I’ll be somewhat tired in the second race no matter what I do in the first one, so I might as well put as much into the first one as possible. If you split your efforts you’re just limiting your chances in both

For me, this also frees me from any expectations on the second race, so I end up trying ‘dumb’ tactics that sometimes work out great - but even if they don’t it becomes a great learning race


Do not worry about the second race while racing the first one. If you focus on tomorrow you’ll have arse today.

Make the first one the one you go for. The second is icing on the cake.


Just win both races.


Yes this. When I did two in a row I was so less anxiety guy. Two shots at it.

I have done many back to back races. If you’re one of the stronger ones then you go into the day thinking how to win both. It’s bad juju planning on doing well the first one and then not the second. Great way to mentally take yourself out before the start which is absurd. You’re there to race. Race.

Not knowing you or the course it’s pretty hard to give any tactical advise. But, from experience, being one of the stronger ones, don’t be a jackass and show everyone how much of a badass you are and waste energy. Ask me how I know…If it makes sense to make a move by all means do it…that’s racing. But, being strong and inexperienced usually equals inefficient racing. If it’s technical or wet stay up front and follow wheels and work only if it makes sense. If it’s a fast sweeping course tailgun or stay hidden until the very end.

Keeping fueled and hydrated is obviously important. Hydration starts the day before. Do your normal nutrition schedule (3 hours prior, 1 hour prior etc…) and take a gel mid way through the first one. Another after you finish the first one. And another midway through the second. I drink straight water. Too much sugary liquid can really mess with you if the racing is what I think it should be. An average hour for me might be around 1000Kj’s fwiw. Depending on how you ride, size etc…this could probably be as low as 800 and maybe as high as 1300+.

Also, to save time, if you only have one jersey or suit pin the first number over the second. Bring some scissors and have someone cut the top number off after the first race…

Have fun and congrats on your upgrade. :boom:


100% this. 2019 I did back-to-back crits three times (earning 10 starts for the 5 - 4 upgrade). I finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd in the three first crits. Dropped from the main field and just rode with the bunch off the back in the second three. Rather do that every time than finish mid-pack in all six races, personally!

Now, that said, I probably could’ve raced smarter in at least two of those first races and gotten good results, and given myself a chance in the second ones, but WTH? Again, treat it like a 2 hour race… but race both of them to the best of ability at that moment. Definitely don’t try to conserve in the first one, IMO.

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It’s always good to go into a race with a plan, but be prepared to be flexible as others who are only doing one of the races will also had plans. Also bear in mind, depending on the circuit, crit races with duration of around 45mins won’t be decided on FTP, but who can sustain the sprints out the corners longest. What you’ll likely find is there will be IF > 1 for both races.

As above - go with the mindset of winning both races.

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I took 5th and ~10th. Thanks for the advice, now I just need to perfect it by doing it every week…